This project is a part of our shared program with Africa Sand Dam Foundation. Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).
Name: MOLEMUNI PRIMARY SCHOOL RAIN WATER HARVESTING TANK (50,000 Liters)
Sub location: Molemuni
Total population of the school is currently at 475 boys and 505 girls, with 9 male teachers and 11 female teachers and 3 subordinate staff. For a total population count of 992 children and staff. The school also has a unit of mentally challenged and physically handicapped that total 30 in number, a total population count of 1,022 children and staff.
(Editor's Note: While this many people may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only support a population of 350-500 people. This community would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)
The current water sources in the school consists of 3 small water tanks that have taps but are insufficient in size to accommodate the 1,022 children and staff who attend this school daily. Also, with the rains as infrequent as they are, a much larger tank is needed to catch and store all possible rainfall. We propose a 50,000 liter tank, as a tank of this size is large enough to hold water that last through the dry season.
Access to the Kambu River is also unfortunately a water source for many people in the surrounding area and for the school children. However open water sources are not safe water sources for human consumption, due to pollutants and livestock animals also using the river as a water source. A third possible source of water for the schoolchildren is to carry water from home to schools. However, because the source of this water cannot be verified, it is difficult to know if children are carrying clean water to school. Also we know that even if water was clean at the source, most water gets contaminated upon transport, because of dirty containers or not properly handling the water.
If children are collecting water from the Kambu River, this is approximately 2.5 kilometers from the school, which takes too much time for children to collect. Because of the shortage of water the school at times needs to purchase water. A drum of water costs approximately 100 KES (1USD) and three drums are used daily, making that ninety drums per month which equals 90USD per month.
Currently there are three working water structures in the school and they only hold enough water for one day
As for sanitation there are 10 latrines for girls, 8 for boys and 2 for teachers. There is one hand washing station installed.
The main challenges faced in the school due to the lack of water and especially during the driest periods of the year are
1. Fish ponds drying up
2. Missing meals because the school garden cannot be watered.
3. For the children who board at the school, sanitation conditions are poor due to the lack of water for washing.
4. Being able to focus in school becomes even more difficult for students if they are not able to drink and eat sufficiently or have adequate water to wash. This can and has led to poor performance in school.
The demand for water in Molemuni school is quite unique as there are children with special needs that attend the school. Most of the children come from homes that do not have adequate income to pay the required school fees. In order to assist the parents, the school has started a small income generating group that grows vegetables for additional income. This vegetable garden is reliant on the water that comes from the rain water harvesting tanks. In this regard, this school will benefit greatly from an additional tank.
School beneficiaries that are assisted by our partner on the ground, ASDF and funded by TWP, are also assisted by the Sand Dam projects that TWP funds. These projects work hand in hand and are built within the same communities to ensure that communities as well as schools have adequate water coverage.
Mobilization and Construction of Project
To be able to implement the project, parents of children who school in Molemuni approached Africa sand dam foundation through a self-help group called Kipico Self-Help Group requesting for support to have the water tank.
"Without water our children’s hygiene and performance is below average. Many of our children at times stay away from school since they have to carry water to the school, without which they are sent back home," said a parent of one of the children in the school.
To implement such a project the self-help group mobilized other parents in the school through the school management committees where parent’s role in the implementation of the project was emphasized. The parents were asked to contribute the local materials and labor for a period of 21 days. Construction of the rain water harvesting tank takes 21 days from trenching to covering the tank. All parents in the school took part in the construction where a duty roster was formulated and a number of parents would turn up for the number of days to support the artisans from ASDF do construction work. This reinforces ownership of the project by the school parents.
The construction work started on the 4/6/2015 and ended on the 5/5/2015.
Apart from the construction of the tank structure, major renovations around guttering to allow maximum harvesting of water into the storage tank were undertaken. The school was also supplied with hand washing stations which will be used to promote hygiene through hand washing. WASH activities scheduled for the school include training of children hygiene and sanitation training (CHAST) which will entail establishing a health club for activities related to WASH in schools. The school has students which special needs and it will be exciting to work with the children to integrate their role in promoting hygiene at home and even in the school.
Thank you for all your support!
Special Note: In the Photos & Video section below is a great video of some of the girls singing. This is the translation of their song:
We have no worries anymore.We require soap to wash hands. To keep off diseases so that we become healthy. Brush your teeth so that it smells good. Body cleanliness, clothes and foods that we eat, let's avoid diseases being healthy is important. Maintains clean environment maintain cleanliness brother.